Process Overview

The Towson University Institutional Review Board (IRB) follows a monthly deadline system for application submissions and reviews. Read further on for how the process works. 


Next Deadline: October 19th

All applications must use the NEW application forms. These submissions will follow the deadline and review process as outlined below. 

If you are submitting a request for Standard or Full Board review, you must submit all materials no later than the next deadline date. 

A note to help get you started

The PI Manual 

A Principal investigator (PI) manual (PDF/DOCX) has been developed to help researchers navigate the IRB process and complete their application. The IRB strongly suggests that all researchers refer to this manual when preparing their proposals. Click on a topic within the Table of Contents to go directly to the section you wish to read. 

Steps to Submission, Review and Approval

The IRB reviews all proposals for human subjects' research before the research is conducted to ensure that the research plan adequately protects human subjects.  

  1. Determine if your research requires IRB review. Not all research requires review and approval from the IRB. Your research must meet the definition of Human Subjects Research. Visit the PI (principal investigator) manual for more information on this.
  2. Determine the next deadline date you must submit all materials by. (*See below for the most up-to-date information.)
  3. If you are a student investigator: find a faculty advisor who will oversee and help guide you through your research. You must have a faculty advisor in order for your study to be reviewed and approved.

  4. Complete CITI Human Subjects Training. Please note that all investigators who are directly involved with human subjects and data collection/analysis must complete training. Please be mindful of who is considered a co-investigator and is directly involved with human subjects and data collection/analysis.

    Applications will not move forward to review until certificates of completion have been received from ALL study personnel. 

  5. Determine if your research falls under accelerated, standard, or full board review. You will need to know which kind of review your research will fall under in order to submit the appropriate application form (Request for Accelerated Review or Request for Standard or Full Board Application). 

    Note: Handwritten applications WILL NOT be accepted. All applications must be typed for clarity. 

  6. Complete your application, attach all supporting documents, necessary signatures, CITI certificates, and either (1) submit electronically to  or (2) mail to the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research. 

NOTE: The IRB no longer accepts application drop-offs. All applications must be directly emailed or mailed. 


Each month has a deadline for when applications requesting standard or full board review must be submitted by in order to be reviewed and approved within a 2-3 week time-frame of the deadline date. This is to guarantee that you will hear back on the status of your application by a certain date (usually by the 2nd or 3rd Friday of the following month).

Completed applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on the 3rd Friday of the month. Applications received after this date WILL NOT be sent for review until the next deadline. 

NOTE: IRB meeting dates may be cancelled if no requests for Full Board review are received. 

Click here to download a copy of the Fall 2018 IRB deadlines outlined below. 


Thanksgiving Break

The University will be CLOSED for the Thanksgiving holiday from November 21 – November 23. Applications may be submitted during this time, but reviews will not be taking place during this time. 

Winter Break

The deadline for December is one week sooner due to the University being CLOSED for Winter Break from December 24 - January 1. You may submit applications throughout the break; however, no reviews will take place during this time and there will be a delay in receiving review comments. You can expect to receive comments in mid-January. 

Spring Break

Spring Break is from March 17-March 24. Reviewing faculty will not be reviewing applications during this time. Please note that you will receive comments one week later than normal. 

Spring deadline and meeting dates to be posted at a later date. 

Application Deadlines IRB Meeting Dates
August 17 September 21
September 21 October 19
October 19 November 16
November 16 December 14 (tentative)
December 14 January 18 (tentative)

*Spring 2019 deadlines and meetings to be posted at a later date. 

Note to early applicants

TU adheres to a strict deadline in order to promote fairness in review length timelines. Should you submit your application in advance of the next deadline, please note that your application will be processed, but will not be submitted for review to an IRB reviewer until that deadline date.